Happy MoFo, Everyone!
Yes, I know … like usual, I’m a day late and a dollar short. I swear I’ll be late to my own funeral … Which is not such a bad plan. I’m thinking about writing that into my will … haul my ashes in an hour late, and whoever’s sad or stupid enough to still sitting there gets my entire Charles Dickens and Calvin & Hobbes collection.
But, in my defense, I spent Labor Day laboring.
Some bloggers have really cool fall themes for Mofo … but, September in the American South is a very weird month.
Yes, I see the first acorn and butternut squashes in the supermarket … but, our gardens are still producing bumper crops of yellow summer squash and zucchini.
I feel a pull towards warm pasta dishes, soups, and stews … but, it’s 90+ degrees outside! A hot plate of pasta puttanesca is ideal in … I dunno, March or October … but considerably less dreamy when my clothes are dripping with sweat and my hair is swelling into a 3-foot white girl afro (not my best look, BTW) and I’m trying to figure out the logistics of how much air conditioning I can afford to use while still eating at least once per day?
Enter my cold pasta puttanesca salad creation!
It’s got everything I love about pasta puttanesca … kalamata olives, green olives, capers, tomatoes, red wine (vinegar) … all in a very light Italian dressing.
Cold Vegan Pasta Puttanesca Salad Ingredients:
2 cups Rotini Pasta, uncooked (I like to use multicolored pasta)
1/2 cup Kalamata Olives, sliced in half
1/2 cup Pimento-Stuffed Green Salad Olives, sliced in rings
1 Tablespoon Capers
At least 14 Cherry Tomatoes, halved (you can use more if you want; I do)
1/4 Cup Vidalia Onion or Red Onion, diced
1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
Cold Vegan Pasta Puttanesca Dressing Ingredients:
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar (or Apple Cider Vinegar)
1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
1/4 Teaspoon dried Basil
1/4 Teaspoon dried Oregano
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder OR 1 Clove Garlic, crushed
Cold Vegan Pasta Puttanesca Salad Directions:
Heat a pot of salted water (just shake your salt shaker about 3 times). Once it boils, add the uncooked pasta and cook until al dente (firm to the tooth) – about 8 minutes.
Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water.
Dump the pasta into a mixing bowl.
Add kalamata olives, green olives, capers, cherry tomatoes, onion, and parsley. Mix gently.
In a small bottle, combine all ingredients for the salad dressing. Shake. Pour over pasta salad and mix gently.
Place in refrigerator to let the flavors mingle and marry … ideally overnight, but for a few hours, at least. TRUST ME ON THIS.
Taste … Add a couple of enthusiastic grindings of black pepper. Add salt, if needed (depending on the olives you use, this could be quite salty already or could need more salt).
Add a few more leaves of parsley for presentation … EAT, and ENJOY!
The dressing for this salad is very light … one reason this is good hot weather, because oils can be very warming. If you are used to a “heavier” dressing on your pasta salad, feel free to double the dressing recipe.